DERBY, Conn.— The lightweights opened a busy weekend in fine fashion Saturday, winning the first and second varsity eights to secure the Dodge Cup for the eleventh straight year. The Bulldogs are back in action Sunday, with races against Cornell starting at 9:00am on their home course in Derby.
The first race of the day was the first freshmen eight, in which Yale faced the Quakers. The young Elis, entering the race undefeated, started well, holding level to the turn at 1000 meter mark. Around the turn, the crews collided, resulting in significant disruption to the rhythm and speed of both crews. The officials judged that Yale had moved into the Quakers' lane; responsible for the collision, the Bulldogs were disqualified from the race.
The first varsity eight was next. A contest between the nation's top two crews— into which both teams entered undefeated— was always going to be a competitive encounter. Yale started strong, closing up the stagger given to Columbia in the outside lane. The Elis opened up at six-seat lead over the Lions as both crews entered the turn. With the inside, Yale then pushed out to a length lead. The Bulldogs maintained their advantage to the line, winning in 5:34.99: two seconds ahead of the Lions. The Quakers finished third, eight seconds behind the Bulldogs.
The closest race of the day was the second varsity eight. Both crews started well, with neither crew able to gain a significant advantage in the first 1500 meters. The Bulldogs capitalized on a consistent rhythm to drive up their boat speed, edging Columbia to the line by one second. Penn finished forty seconds back in 6:23.2.
The third varsity eight closed out the day's racing with Yale facing Columbia. Looking to build off last week's win against Georgetown, the Elis hung tough in the early going. As the race wore on, Columbia continued to slowly edge out. The Bulldogs finished strong, however, setting a fast time of 6:06.9.
Tomorrow the Elis face off against third-ranked Cornell, with races starting at 9:00am.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity